New fly-tipping powers in East Devon

Fly tipping in East Devon. Picture: LDRS

Fly tipping in East Devon. Picture: LDRS - Credit: LDRS

New powers to tackle fly-tipping in East Devon have been agreed.

The district council's cabinet approved the introduction of an additional fixed penalty fine against householders or businesses which have been caught flytipping.

Existing powers enabled the council to issue fixed penalty offences against the actual fly-tipper.

But the new provision enables action to be taken against householders who do not undertake due diligence over who takes their waste away.

Andrew Ennis, service lead, environmental health, told the cabinet the new provision is to encourage householders to choose a waste carrier who is able to confirm that they hold a waste carriers' licence.

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His report said in most cases the council is finding that the transgressor cannot demonstrate that they have acted responsibly.

Mr Ennis said: "It therefore seems reasonable that responsibility for the final disposal remains with the householder and now regulations require that waste originators are actually responsible for ensuring that their waste is ultimately disposed of properly."

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According to Mr Ennis, the council's environment protection team has investigated 49 littering and fly-tipping cases and issued 25 penalty notices in the last two years.

He asked the cabinet to approve allowing his team to use the new power, adding: "There is a clear duty for the householder to undertake due diligence, and as an alternative to prosecution, we can use this fixed penalty notice route."

Cllr Geoff Jung, portfolio holder for the environment, said that he supported the use of it.

He added: "Most people deal with their waste in the right way, but there are some cowboys still out there. We will endeavour to catch and fine them."

A fixed penalty of £400 (reduced to £200 if paid within 10 days) for medium and large fly-tips, can now be issued.

A lower fixed penalty amount of £200 (reduced to £120 if paid within 10 days) can be levied for small fly-tips.

Mr Ennis added: "A fixed penalty notice will generally be used only in response to a first offence committed by an individual or company."

The cabinet unanimously supported the proposals.

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